The secret Romanian approach to Secretary of State Dean Rusk was revealed thirty years later by former U.S. foreign service officer and ambassador to Bulgaria Raymond L. Garthoff.
["When and Why Romania Distanced Itself from the Warsaw Pact," Cold War International History Project Bulletin 5 (1995), p. 111]
The position of the Czechoslovak reformist leadership toward the Warsaw Pact was summarized in a paper prepared at the Prague ministry of defense in July 1968. Drafted in response to the mounting Soviet accusations of Czechoslovakia's alleged disloyalty to the alliance, it was probably never used.
["The Warsaw Treaty and Czechoslovakia," July 1968, MNO-1968, sekr. min. 2/1-9, Military Historical Archives, Prague; translated by Vojtech Mastny]
Evidence showing that Gen. Jaruzelski imposed martial law in Poland in December 1981 not in order to avert Soviet military intervention but in order to crush the democratric opposition was presented at the conference co-organized by the National Security Archive in November 1997 at Jachranka near Warsaw. The most startling piece of that evidence is the notebook by Gen. Viktor I. Anoshkin, aide to Warsaw Pact Supreme Commander Marshal Viktor G. Kulikov, indicating that Jaruzelski, fearful that his attempt to introduce martial law might fail, actually solicited Soviet military backing in case he would run into difficulties but was rebuffed.
A sample of an original page of the notebook and a selection of its entries follow.
At a meeting with the Hungarian party chief Karóly Grósz on 8 September 1988, the East German leader Erich Honecker recalled that
"at the time of the stationing of the missiles in western Europe, the SED [East German Communist Party] was pleased with how the fraternal Hungarian party reacted by adopting a position similar to that of the SED . . . . We could not agree with the idea that, after the stationing of the missiles, any dialog would be impossible . . . " Comrade Honecker remembered that during this time the central organ of the SED printed an article by comrade Szürös, in which the agreement of our viepoints was made clear. [Record of the Honecker-Grosz meeting, Zentrales Parteiarchiv, J IV/931, Stiftung Archiv der Parteien und Massenorganisationen der DDR im Bundesarchiv, Berlin; translated by Catherine Nielsen, National Security Archive]
Honecker was referring to his public statements in 1983-84 in which he, obliquely but unequivocally, expressed misgivings about the deployment of additional Soviet missiles in East Germany. At a time when the Soviet Union took an intransigent stance against the deployment of NATO's intermediate range nuclear missiles, he expressed his desire to continue a dialogue with the West in order to save détente.
". . . The GDR has, like the other states of the socialist community, been actively supporting the adamant and consistent peace policy of the Soviet Union in all phases of the struggle against the deployment of American first-strike weapons. Simultaneously, it has been developing a broad scale of activities, using its international channels at the UN and elsewhere to calm down the world situation and help forestall any extreme reactions. . . .
I like to point out here the numerous contacts and talks with representatives of Western nations, their parties and their economic and public institutions up to the highest levels, that helped to clarify the positions of the GDR and our socialist community with regard to the burning issues of the struggle for peace against the policies of confrontation and the arms race. It is well known that in this is the context we have been conducting a multifaceted dialogue with politicians of the FRG, be they personalities of the federal government and the Bonn coalition parties or of the opposition. This has not been without results. . .
It is of great importance to continue the political dialogue with all forces that acknowledge their responsibility for the fate of their people and of mankind and are prepared to keep the channels of communication open. We advocate that all possibilities to negotiate a stop to the arms race and a transition to disarmament, especially in the nuclear field, should be used."
["Speech by Erich Honecker delivered in East Berlin at the SED's seventh CC plenum, 26-27 November 1983"; Neues Deutschland, 26 and 27 November 1983; published in East Berlin and Moscow: the Documentation of a Dispute, Ron Asmus, ed., RFE Occasional Papers, Number 1, Munich: Germany, 1985, pp. 19-21]
"Our policy is and remains determined by the principles of peaceful coexistence and by efforts to reduce tension and [the risk oil military confrontation, especially here in Europe. Reason and a determination to find constructive solutions to the contested problems in a peaceful manner must dominate the sphere of international relations. Cooperation must prevail in order to ensure mutual advantage; the continuation of an East-West dialogue is of the utmost importance. My meetings with leading politicians and other individuals from the West, including the FRG, are to be seen in this context. . . .
I have thereby also expressed [the principles that] will guide us in the further development of relations between the GDR and the FRG. These relations cannot be severed from the need for a peaceful future for both German states, indeed, for a peaceful future for Europe, [and] for a rational [future based on] coexistence and cooperation. In view of this and aware of the experiences of two world wars and the responsibilities the two German nations have for peace, it is most important that every possibility be used so that reason and realism prevail, so that cooperation instead of confrontation come to the fore, and so disarmament proceeds and the process of détente is revived, according to the principles of equality and equal security."
["Erich Honecker's speech to district party leaders in East Berlin on 12 February 1984"; Neues Deutschland, 13 February 1984; published in East Berlin and Moscow: the Documentation of a Dispute, Ron Asmus, ed., RFE Occasional Papers, Number 1, Munich: Germany, 1985, p25.]
On 2-3 August and again on 5 August 1961, while secret preparations for the building of the Berlin War were at their final stage and eastern European leaders were gathered to Moscow to consider the consequences, Khrushchev met with the visiting Italian Prime Minister Amintore Fanfani. Evidently anxious about the likely Western response to the imminent drastic action in Berlin and undecided whether he should follow it up by making good on his repeated threat to conclude a separate peace treaty with East Germany, Khrushchev went the farthest ever in trying to intimidate one of America's key European allies. The Soviet government subsequently shared its transcript of the conversation with its Warsaw Pact allies.
Indignant at his recent contentious meeting with President John F. Kennedy in Vienna, Khrushchev complained about having supposedly been threated by him with war if the East German peace treaty were signed. Khrushchev nevertheless insisted that the treaty would be signed [it never was] and that "access to West Berlin will be closed" as a result. He added that he had "an even bigger hydrogen bomb" (10 million tons of TNT) and was under pressure by his technicians and military to test it.
"Within an hour after the outbreak of a war," Khrushchev predicted, "West Germany would be annihilated." He warned that all of America's allies were at risk because of the U.S. bases on their territories, and the Soviet Union had enough missiles to destroy them all. But the war will be started by the West, not by the East, he said.
"The United States will start the war, and you will have to die," Khrushchev informed his Italian guest. "Understand me right. This is not a threat but a reality . . . . If we are attacked we will destroy the whole world. This is not an ultimatum but a realistic estimate."
[Soviet record of the Khrushchev-Fanfani conversations, 2-3 and 5 August 1961, Zentrales Parteiarchiv, J IV 2/202-329, Stiftung Archiv der Parteien und Massenorganisationen der DDR im Bundesarchiv, Berlin]
On the way to his meeting with Kennedy in Vienna, Khrushchev in June 1961 revealed the nature of his brinkmanship to Czechoslovak party leaders gathered in Bratislava. The record of his statement, preserved in the Central State Archives in Prague, was published in a Russian translation in 1998 ("`Lenin tozhe riskoval': Nakanune vstrechi Khrushcheva i Kennedi v Vene v iiune 1961 g.," ["Lenin Took Risks, Too": On the Eve of the Khrushchev-Kennedy Encounter in Vienna in June 1961], Istochnik, 1998, no. 3: 85-97).
The question of whether Khrushchev sent battlefield nuclear weapons to Cuba with the intention of their being fired against U.S. targets in case of an American invasion of the island has been contested among historians. On the one hand, he gave clear instructions that no use of any nuclear weapons was authorized without explicit approval from Moscow. On the other hand, he acted as if he had no conception of the risk of escalation if the battlefield nuclear weapons were actually used. Some of the relevant documents from Soviet archives follow.
The Warsaw Pact command and staff exercise MAZOWSZE, conducted in Poland in June 1963, was based on actual war plans. It envisaged a veritable pandemonium, in which hundreds of nuclear weapons would be fired and millions of people killed, yet the country, unlike its Western adversaries, would not only survive and even keep functioning, but win the war in three days. The description of the war game was printed by the general staff for internal use and given the highest grade of classification.
The appended map shows the anticipated radioactive contamination of nearly all of Poland, sometimes up to 1,000 times the acceptable level.